Cardinal Sarah stressed the importance of both truth and love.
“To love someone as Christ loves us means to love that person in the truth,” he said. “Those who speak on behalf of the Church must be faithful to the unchanging teachings of Christ because only by living in harmony with God’s creative design do we find deep and lasting fulfillment.”
Cardinal Sarah summarized Catholic teaching on same-sex attraction: the person is good because he or she is a child of God. Homosexual attractions are not sinful if not willed or acted upon, even though they are not in harmony with human nature. However, homosexual actions are “gravely sinful and tremendously harmful to the well-being of those who partake in them.”
“People who identify as members of the LGBT community are owed this truth in charity, especially from clergy who speak on behalf of the Church about this complex and difficult topic,” the cardinal continued.
The cardinal recommended the book by American author Daniel Mattson titled “Why I Don’t Call Myself Gay,” for which he wrote the foreword.
“It is my prayer that the world will finally heed the voices of Christians who experience same-sex attractions and who have discovered peace and joy by living the truth of the Gospel,” Cardinal Sarah said. “I have been blessed by my encounters with them, and their witness moves me deeply.”
Such Christians testify to “the power of grace” and the truth of Church teaching, he said. Some have been reconciled to Jesus Christ and the Church after living apart from the faith.
“Their lives are not easy or without sacrifice…but they have discovered the beauty of chastity and of chaste friendships,” he said, adding that these Christians deserve respect and attention for their ability to teach about “how to better welcome and accompany our brothers and sisters in authentic pastoral charity.”
Speaking generally, the cardinal further stressed the necessity for Catholic fidelity in public life. Rejecting God’s plan for human intimacy and love has sad consequences, he said.
“The sexual liberation the world promotes does not deliver its promise. Rather, promiscuity is the cause of so much needless suffering, of broken hearts, of loneliness, and of treatment of others as means for sexual gratification,” the cardinal warned. “As a mother, the Church seeks to protect her children from the harm of sin, as an expression of her pastoral charity.”